eli5: how do climbing plants “know” where to “reach” places where they can grab onto to grow up a surface? Ex: peas have those little green string “fingers” that they wrap around trellis in a garden.

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eli5: how do climbing plants “know” where to “reach” places where they can grab onto to grow up a surface? Ex: peas have those little green string “fingers” that they wrap around trellis in a garden.

In: Biology

They just slowly “wiggle” those arms until they hit something and then these twisting wiggling motions makes it wrap around.

Will edit in a second if I find a timelapse

Edit: [Here](https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UG9YmrqyomM)

It’s basically like when it’s dark and you’re trying to reach for the lightswitch. Just try until you hit the target.

Its less predictive on the part of the peas than it seems when you have a less than ideal enviro for them. For ex: my yard supports barely 1 pot of peas and they are climbing all over themselves, the wall, and my tomato trellis in the pursuit of light. I can’t blame them. But also, the vibe things extend every 2 in + 2eaves of growth and start to automatically curl around anything, even nothing. The number of plants I’ve saved because I put their vines around my trellis is innumerable. But I hope they have a calm and happy life life out there and I’m not angry even if it was hard for them living on my balcony— it would be hard for me too.

There are time lapse videos of vines growing where you can see that their tendrils wave around in a corkscrew-like pattern as they grow upward until they discover something to grab on to, kind of like how you feel around in the dark for walls and objects.

As the tendrils of these plans grow they rotate in progressively bigger circles until they make contact with something. After this point they will do their best to attack themselves to it and secure their grip. You should be able to find videos on YouTube of time lapses of plants doing this.

I hope this helped!

They flail in a circular motion until they hit something. Time lapse footage of how they grow looks kinda creepy.